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Old 05-29-2013, 12:18 PM   #1
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Dead Coach Help

All,

New to the site. Great info, help and guidance being posted. I have similar issues as wmurdocks post of 12-14-2011, 03:34 PM ďDead CoachĒ. Last Friday was loaded ready to go for Memorial Day Weekend.

I have a 07 Alpine Coach LE. Turned ignition key on, all the instrumentation came on went thru its gyrations, turned key to start, Nothing!

I just installed brand new batteries both house and chassis on 4-27-13. I turned both house and chassis selector switches off hoping to reset everything but that didnít work either.

With the ignition key to the on position I was able to get the coach started by jumping across both the starter and the starter solenoid.

I thought ďGREATĒ I was camping close to home so I figured I would just jump it Monday when I came home.

Went to store the jacks and had no power to the HWH. All the other hydraulics work (slides, smartbeds). After some further troubleshooting I had no power to the generator slide motor either.

All of this happened at 5:00pm on Friday so needless to say the wife and I spent the weekend with my in-laws on their hide abed in their RV.

Thanks to Wayne Rís post on 12-19-2011, 10:45 AM, I compared my VMMís LEDís with the ignition on and off and found that the VMM mounted under the PDM on the dash has no LEDís on expect for the power LED. The network light does flash once but thatís it and no other LEDís come on.

I believe this is my problem. There is no communication with this VMM. The big question is, does anyone know how or where I can find a VMM replacement? Any other input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks all,

D.
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:30 PM   #2
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Could be a bad VMM. The file at this link has as complete an explanation of the Alpine front VMM as exists in this world (and probably the next as well). Pins 24, 25 & 26 on the 35 pin connector on the left has to have full battery voltage going to it to power the VMM functions; that input has been known to fail, and an independent 12V feed cured the issue. Not all 3 pins are populated w/a wire, so only the one(s) that is(are) needs 12V.

If the VMM is not recoverable, then the data buss link to/from the rear of the coach is dead also. Do your gauges complete the start-up cycle then return to a functioning position, or do they remain in constant sweep mode?

Brings up an interesting point. I'm wondering if you (or I or anybody else) could use a cheat- get two Deutsch 9-pin connector ends and make up a front-to-back data-port-to-data-port cable (strung thru the chassis, but you could test w/the door open & the cable running free on the ground or zip tied to the side of the coach). There is data bus connection at each end, and a simple cable should activate the link. Worth a try to get a dead coach on the road. You would not have brake lights in this case as that signal is generated in the front VMM. But gearshift is generated in the shift pad & run on the VMM-enabled buss cable. Cruise control, Left/Right turns, and headlight/tailight flash also run thru front VMM so they would also be dead.

We had an owner w/a rear VMM dead, and he was able to jump start his bus, but can't recall if he was able to shift.
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Old 05-29-2013, 04:54 PM   #3
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After turning the chassie disconnect off, check the front VMM to be sure the power light goes off. If it doesn't pull the power connector out (the big red wires) and plug it back in. I think it is screwed on.
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Old 05-30-2013, 01:46 AM   #4
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If you do need a VMM, there is only place you can get it.
JCA Electronics, Winnipeg CA, 204-292-0550, jca@jcaelectronics.ca
It is not advisable to try find a used one or whatever online, since they have to be programmed. The reason being is both VMM's have the same software, so they need the good one to be able to program the new one.

When we used to be to get tech support directly from Parker Hanflin, they told me if you thought you had a problem with one VMM, you could switch them from front to rear and see what happens. Maybe if you were lucky it could get you home.
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:47 AM   #5
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Dead Coach Help

Gentleman,

Thank you very much for the responses. I didnít have a chance to dig back into my troubleshooting activities yesterday.

To answer a few of the questions that where raised. EngineerMike: The gauges do complete the start-up cycle then return to a functioning position just like they normally would. When I jumped it to get it running everything appeared to be working fine. JLMunsil: The power LED did go off on the front VMM when I turned off the chassis disconnect then came back on when I turned on the chassis disconnect. The network LED flashed once then never comes back on. No other LEDís come either which is leading me to believe that the VMM is not communicating for some reason.
Kraig, Thanks for forwarding me information on JCA Electronics. If this does end up being the problem I will get in touch with them.

Thanks again for the help and support. It is very much appreciated.

D.
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:25 AM   #6
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Daren,

One thing I forgot to add about JCA Electronics is they do not accept credit cards. You have to wire funds to their bank account that must clear before they will ship. Also they tell you that have to arrange your own Customs brokerage. Probably the easiest way, is not to use a local FED EX store, but call the international FED EX. The time shipping your good unit back, getting the new one programmed, paying for it, going through customs, getting them returned could take some some time even if you expedited shipping. The company is good to work with. Hopefully you don't need the VMM.

This is not your problem. One other thing just for information, the PDM is what they refer to as a dumb module and does not need to be programmed. So if there were a problem, you could try find anyone that worked on the internet ok.
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:59 AM   #7
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You can still check one VMM vs the other by swapping them. Each has the same program, and knows which one it is in the system by the pin-outs on one of the 4 connectors. So if you swap the bad acting front for the properly acting rear, and the bad acting goes to the back while the front works fine, then its the VMM (problem moved). If the problem remains at the front, then its in the wiring, or inputs.
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:35 PM   #8
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Update

All,

Sent out my good VMM to JCA Electronics last Thursday got the one I sent and the new back today. Re-installed them both and the motorhome started right up. Everything that wasn't working seems to be working fine now.

Many thanks to all you guys for your input and support.

Daren
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Old 06-12-2013, 12:15 PM   #9
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We had a problem with the rear vansco over Memorial weekend. There was condensation inside the cover which seemed to have shorted the unit. Our warranty company(U S Warranty) says we must have power washed inside the battery compartment so they wont cover it!! How stupid!! We have been waiting ever since to get the unit back and this morning they are saying 250.00 to expedite it. Not sure who is delaying this. Thought we were dealing with a reliable repair shop in Battle Ground Wa but beginning to wonder. Any thoughts on this will be welcomed.
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Old 06-13-2013, 12:18 AM   #10
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I am confused by your email. Are you trying to get your bad unit back? Is somebody trying to fix it? There is no way fix a VMM. If somebody did fix it, I wouldn't trust it. You just have to replace it, if it is bad. I wouldn't spend money to get it back. I don't think there are many repair shops that really understand Vansco, since the only RV they were used in Alpines.
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:52 AM   #11
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Vansco

Sorry I wasn't clear about our situation. Our rear vansco had corrosion in it and died an untimely death! It was sent to Canada by a repair shop in Battle Ground Washington. Still haven't received it and I am trying to get a tracking number to see where it is. I wonder if everyone's vansco is mounted in the battery compartment with the bolts extending into the wheel well. We can't see how the unit got condensation in it or how to be sure it doesn't happen again. Our warranty company won't cover repairs. The original pages list electronics but buried in the fine print they basically exclude anything that could go wrong. Has anyone had experience with this or is warranty coverage a waste of money. We haven't dealt directly with the Canadian company so we have no idea what the expense will be(just that it is bad). I did find it interesting that like a previous post, we had had new batteries installed a few weeks prior to the vansco failure. Had we been told that the warranty wouldn't cover this we might have dealt directly with the Canadian company but we were told we needed an approved repair shop by the warranty company. Many of the delays may have been avoided if there wasn't a middle man. Hind sight is so wonderful! Only hope is that this will fix the problem and if there is money left for gas we can get on the road. Hope this clears up our issues.
Shari
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